About Ruben

Aviation reporter from The Netherlands. Main focus on North European-related issues.

F-35 makes big splash in The Netherlands


On June 1 we got our first look at the F-35A Lightning II during a Royal Netherlands Air Force press briefing. The aircraft recently made it’s premiere visit to The Netherlands and the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from east to west. An Italian built aircraft had made the first altlantic crossing earlier flying from Cameri, Italy to Naval Air Station Patuxent River in the United States.

Read the rest of this entry >>

War is Boring: Dutch Gunships Battle Mali Rebels

Last Saturday on January 24, an article by our Lieuwe de Vries was published on the popular long-form defense newssite War is Boring. Read an excerpt below:

“Dutch attack helicopters operating in Mali flew into action for the first time on Jan. 20. The result was a lopsided victory for the Dutch, who are taking part in the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country.

The battle occurred as separatist rebels from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad—or MNLA for short—advanced on the northern town of Tabankort. The rebels used heavy weapons to fire on U.N. peacekeepers in the town.

The U.N. troops called in an Apache attack helicopter to provide fire support.”

Continue reading on War is Boring (opens new page) —>

ItAF 37° Stormo Starfighter

We’re back from a short vacation! This weeks update is an Italian F-104S from the 37° Stormo. If you’re a regular at this site you’ll know we love Starfighters. And we love the Italians because they had these beauties in active service up until 2004. Thanks gents!

F-104S M.M.6909


Click for larger image and more info

In The Netherlands, Australia’s Blackhawk replacement is corroding at the seats

On 7 July we reported on Dutch Defense Ministers Hennis-Plasschaerts decision to freeze the acquisition of the European made NH-90. The DM made her decision after the Dutch Aerospace Laboratory released a report on design and manufacturing errors causing heavy wear and corrosion on the Dutch NH-90s. It’s not the first time the NATO Helicopter has suffered from these kinds of problems as the Australians have had similar experiences.



Europe shopping abroad for its drone needs

Even if you’re not following the aviation news, it’s hard not to know that ‘drone’ is the buzzword nowadays. It’s not a secret the United States is a big proponent of the unmanned aerial vehicles, letting the drones perform countless surveillance and tactical missions in the Middle East. On the other side, China is also putting some serious effort in developing their own drones, even if they are mostly clones of their American counterparts. But what about Europe, the Old Country? How are they currently faring in the drone arms race?



We’ve added a Hellenic Air Force bird to our collection. The F-104 Starfighter 7151 had this special paint job to commemorate the 336th “Olympus” squadron’s 50th anniversary in 1992. Quite a sight. Enjoy!

F-104G 7151 Olympus